Renée O’Brien is the founder and owner of SharpChip, Inc., a business development and custom software design firm which works with small businesses on accomplishing their dreams of success.
Renée is well equipped to help small businesses work their way to the top because she has done it herself. Renée’s calling began to be fulfilled when at 23 she took a leap of faith and left her corporate job as a business consultant, to take her $50 and a vacuum to become a true entrepreneur.
In 1991 Renée started a house cleaning business in Seattle, Washington. Friends told her that she was… well…”crazy”… to be exact, to leave her very attractive job with Accenture Consulting to “go clean toilets for a living” (as they so elegantly put it). Renée was driven, however, and knew that she was ready to take her skills and education, and put them to work on building her own enterprise.
Renée’s research showed that service businesses were (and still are) one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. Renée wanted to capitalize on that market growth, and build a service business that was a cut above the rest; one that would earn the reputation of being the best in the region. Eight years later when she successfully sold her 25+ employee business, she was proud of her accomplishment of building a great business, with a stellar reputation, that was the 2nd largest in the region.
After the sale of her cleaning business, Renée realized that she wanted to take what she had learned about building businesses and work with other entrepreneurs to help them achieve their goals. “I think that I was born with an entrepreneurial spirit. I love building businesses, and helping others do it, too. It’s such a rush!” says Renée.
Renée works with business of all kinds, but has a special kinship for cleaning businesses. She explains, “I enjoy working with small businesses of all kinds, but especially cleaning businesses because they are part of my roots. Cleaning businesses are real diamonds in the rough…At first glance they may not be glamorous, but with a little bit of effort they can be amazing businesses! It’s one of the business world’s best kept secrets.”
Renée comments on why her clients hire her as their consultant “‘Get there faster with SharpChip!’ is my slogan, and I really mean it. I have been down the road of building a business from scratch, taking it to higher levels, making all of the mistakes, and ultimately succeeding and accomplishing my dreams. With the lessons that I have learned I have the experience to help my clients build their businesses quickly, and accomplish their dreams of success.”
When asked about SharpChip’s consulting approach Renée had this to say. “One of the biggest contributors to a business’ success is the enthusiasm, focus and individual direction of its owner. Business owners know what their vision of their business is. My approach is to take that vision and help business owners get more of the good things with it, like…more profits…more time off…faster growth…absentee ownership…and, long term security.”
Renée O’Brien’s consulting firm, SharpChip, Inc., was established in 1999. And, Renée now takes great pleasure in using her 15 years business experience to help small businesses build their businesses quickly and accomplish their dreams. SharpChip assists small businesses in improving their organization, personnel and profitability, and does it through consulting, coaching, training and automation.
Consulting, coaching and training make sense, but where does automation come in? Renée answers, “From my education and my work with Accenture, I have learned about the great financial benefits that are to be had for a business that embraces technology. I have a computer programming background, and with that I developed an easy to use software program for my cleaning business that enabled it to be fully managed by one person; a task that often took three people in similar sized businesses that were not properly automated.
Automation is essential for efficient business management, and through SharpChip I am able to bring this benefit to my small business clients, and they see results quickly.” Renée provides the management consulting services for SharpChip herself, and she works with other developers on the software development projects.
When Renée was asked if she has any advice for a budding business owner she had this to say, “Focus on your vision, learn the skills needed to accomplish that vision, ask for help when needed, and don’t let anyone stand in the way of your dreams!”
10 Achievements: Renée’s Secrets to Her Success
For Renée, like for all business owners, building her business was a series of successes and challenges. Some of her accomplishments that led to her business success are as follows: